1609 Hangar Road    Sanford, Florida 32773        phone-icon.png  (407) 322-9488    fax-icon.png  (407) 330-2647

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need a license to fly the Hummingbird?
  2. Do I need a fixed wing license first?
  3. Can I take lessons in my own Hummingbird?
  4. What is the price of the Hummingbird?
  5. Is the engine included in the price?
  6. What other costs will I need to include?
  7. Is the throttle synchronized with the collective?
  8. Can I maintain my own helicopter?
  9. What is the hourly operating cost?
  10. Does this helicopter design meet the stringent FAA standards?
  11. Do you have a quality control process for the manufacturing of parts?
  12. What kind of fuel does the Hummingbird require?
  13. Can an auxiliary fuel system be installed?
  14. Is there baggage space?
  15. Is there any weight limit per seat?
  16. Is there any calendar life on the airframe or components?
  17. What are the overhaul periods?
  18. What are the life limited components?
  19. How difficult is this helicopter kit to assemble?
  20. How do I place my order for a Hummingbird?
  21. How long has the company been in business?
  22. Do you have a flight test program?
  23. Can I install a cargo hook?
  24. Do you have a Dealership Network?
  25. What is the difference between the IVO-435 and LS7 engines?

1.Do I need a license to fly the Hummingbird?

Yes. This helicopter requires a FAA private rotorcraft license.

2.Do I need a fixed wing license first?

No. You can start as a helicopter pilot.

3.Can I take lessons in my own Hummingbird?

Yes. A Flight Instructor can give you flight training in your helicopter.

4.What is the price of the Hummingbird?

The price of the kit is $152,230.00. A deposit is required to secure a position and delivery date. Contact our sales office for details.

5.Is the engine included in the price?

No. The engine is sold separately and can be purchased through Vertical Aviation Technologies.

6.What other costs will I need to include?

The Fuel Injected Lycoming powerplant if purchased thru Vertical Aviation Technologies is priced at $55,000.00. This price includes more than just the engine. It includes everything required to install. Because some people prefer to buy used engines to reduce the cost, we are selling the kit priced without the Fuel Injected Lycoming IVO435-A1F.

Paint cost is approximately $1500. Upholstery cost is approximately $1000. Radios can be as inexpensive as $800. Compare this finished cost against other helicopters.

a. Robinson R-44 $410,000.00 four place
b. Enstrom F280 $400,000.00 three place
c. Schweizer 300C $381,800.00 three place

7.Is the throttle synchronized with the collective?

Yes. The system works very well and with a heavier 3-bladed rotor system, r.p.m.’s will not “bleed off” quickly like a two blade system. The 3-blade rotor system eliminates any concern for mast bumping.

8.Can I maintain my own helicopter?

Yes. After you complete the assembly process the FAA will issue you a Repairmans Certificate. This cannot be accomplished with a commercial helicopter.

9.What is the hourly operating cost?

VERTICAL AVIATION TECHNOLOGIES
HUMMINGBIRD MODEL 260L
Fuel Injected Lycoming Engine IVO-435

ESTIMATED DIRECT COST OF OPERATION & RESERVES

DIRECT COST OF OPERATION COST/HOUR
CONSUMABLES
Fuel – 14 gph @ $5.50 gallon $77.00
Oil/Hour $.50
RESERVES
RESERVE FOR ENGINE OVERHAUL $8.00
RESERVE FOR SPARE PARTS
Major Component Overhaul @ TBO $27.22
Replacement of Retirement Item
TOTAL DIRECT OPERATING COST: $112.72 per flight-hour

Note: There are no calendar inspections so operating cost is based on flight hours only.

VERTICAL AVIATION TECHNOLOGIES
HUMMINGBIRD MODEL 300LS
LS7 Engine

ESTIMATED DIRECT COST OF
OPERATION & RESERVES

DIRECT COST OF OPERATION COST/HOUR
CONSUMABLES  
  Fuel – 10 gph @ $3.50 gallon $35.00
  Oil/Hour $.50
RESERVES  
RESERVE FOR ENGINE OVERHAUL $1.15
RESERVE FOR SPARE PARTS  
Major Component Overhaul @ TBO $27.22
Replacement of Retirement Item  
TOTAL DIRECT OPERATING COST: $63.87 per flight hour

Note: There are no calendar inspections so operating cost is based on flight hours only.

10.Does this helicopter design meet the stringent FAA standards?

Yes. This helicopter was originally approved for commercial use by the FAA. We elected to sell it in kit form in order to reduce the assembly costs for you. The original design went thru Sikorsky and FAA engineering and flight testing programs. All dynamic components were subjected to a fatigue life substantiation. Fatigue life is substantiated by measuring, in-flight steady and vibratory loads on components like rotor blades with strain gauges and the helicopter is flown at all weights, c.g.’s, altitudes, temperatures, and maneuvers: With these known loads a minimum of four specimens (ex: rotorblades), are loaded and cycled with special equipment in a laboratory until failure. This establishes the life of the component before failure. This information cannot be predicted.

11.Do you have a quality control process for the manufacturing of parts?

Yes. We have been involved with extensive FAA manufacturing approvals and FAA Repair Station. This was required for our company to manufacture components like rotorheads and rotorblades for Commercial Transport Category helicopters.

12.What kind of fuel does the Hummingbird require?

Because of the high compression Fuel Injected Lycoming engine, 8:7 to 1, only 100 octane is approved. The LS7 engine is approved for 87 octane automobile fuel.

13.Can an auxiliary fuel system be installed?

Yes. We have available a 22 gallon auxiliary fuel system increasing the range to 545 miles.

14.Is there baggage space?

Yes. The Hummingbird has two large easily accessed baggage compartments in the main cabin.

15.Is there any weight limit per seat?

No.

16.Is there any calendar life on the airframe or components?

No.

17.What are the overhaul periods?

All components were designed by Sikorsky for 1200 flight hours. The overhaul information is provided to you with the builders/assembly manual or you can send them back to the factory. These components are very simple in design. The Lycoming engine has a 1500 hours overhaul period. The LS7 engine has an overhaul period of 3000 hours. There are no calendar inspections.

18.What are the life limited components?

There are no life limited components except for the main and tail blades. Because of the over built design the rotorhead, tail rotor, and main shaft have no fatigue life. The main blades are 1200 hours and the tail blades are 1700 hours.

19.How difficult is this helicopter kit to assemble?

A tremendous amount of effort from our part went into designing this real certified helicopter to be assembled by yourself. In addition to detailed manuals, there are drawings and photographs. The average build time is approximately 1200 hours. Because all transmissions are shaft driven, we build all critical components at the factory on precision fixtures. So a lot of the work has already been accomplished for you and this kit meets the 51% rule with the FAA.

20.How do I place my order for a Hummingbird?

Please contact our sales department at 407-322-9488. A deposit is required to receive a production position and delivery date.

21.How long has the company been in business?

We have been in business since 1964, active with the Hummingbird program for 24 years. We have sold over 173 helicopters worldwide from commercial helicopter operators to governments including the United States. We have an excellent reputation with the FAA and never had a fatality in any helicopter we built or sold including the Hummingbird.

22.Do you have a flight test program?

Yes. When your kit is ready for flight we have several representatives that can come to your location, do a final inspection, and then a first flight. We have representatives located throughout the world.

23.Can I install a cargo hook?

Yes. This helicopter was designed and approved for a cargo hook.

24.Do you have a Dealership Network?

Yes. Dealerships have been established in the countries of Brazil, New Zealand, and Russia. We are always expanding our Dealership Network, so call if you feel you can support Hummingbird customers in some other part of the world.

25. What is the difference between the IVO-435 and LS7 engines?

  The IVO-435 installation uses 265 horse power, only uses 100LL aviation fuel, maxium of 15 gallons per hour, is air cooled, and runs on 6 cylinders.

  The LS7 has 375 horse power derated to 280 horse power, can use either auto fuel or aviation fuel, uses 10 gallons per hour, is water cooled, and runs on 8 cylinders.

Both installations do weigh the same.

Both installations are fuel injected, but the VO-435 is direct fuel injection and the LS7 is electronic fuel injection.